‘Minnal Murali’ review: Best Indian superhero film ever made?
Release date: 12/24/2021
To throw: Tovino Thomas, Guru Somasundaram, Baiju, Harisree Ashokan, Shelly Kishore
Director: Basil Joseph
Jaison (Tovino Thomas) is madly in love with Bincy, the daughter of the local SI Saajan (Baiju). What he doesn’t know is that the astute Bincy has already agreed to marry a financially better-off person than her father chose for her. The truth of the matter dawns in Jaison on Christmas Day.
He cannot accept this betrayal and lands on Saajan’s doorstep disguised as Santa Claus and tries to persuade Bincy to change his decision. When he fails to convince her, he denigrates her in the presence of the whole community. IF Saajan, who greatly hates Jaison, threatens to kill him by drawing his gun but before he can shoot him, Jaison is struck by lightning and falls unconscious.
Shibu (Guru Somasundaram) is a social outcast who has suffered nothing but the hatred and subjugation of the people. He has been in love with Usha (Shelly Kishore) since he was a child, but was always chased away from her by Usha’s brother, Daasan (Harisree Ashokan).
Being poor, motherless and excluded from society never gave Shibu the courage to speak from his heart to Usha. The years have passed. Usha ran away with a man who later married her, but then left her with a child and ran away. After years of suffering, Usha returned to the village.
Shibu who had been miserable all these years could see Usha every day again and be happy to be with the one person he loved and coveted his whole life. It is on Christmas Day that Shibu learns of Usha’s return to the village. He is delighted with it. He boards a small boat and lands right next to his house, watching her quietly and listening to some tunes on the radio. This is when he is suddenly struck by lightning and loses consciousness.
Minnal Murali is the story of what happens when these two different individuals acquire superpowers through freak accident and start using them for totally different purposes. I enjoyed this film for a multitude of reasons, but none of those reasons was more pronounced than the fact that the film was more about human emotions and human conditions than anything else.
The stakes of the story are set up by the emotional and dramatic states of the two men involved in the story and it is also these emotional and dramatic elements that move the story and the actions of these individuals forward.
Jaison is initially disillusioned by Bincy’s sudden betrayal. He wants to leave the village, get rich and prove himself to the girls who have just dumped him for a more financially viable option. SI Saajan wants revenge on Jaison for insulting his daughter and thus destroys his chances of leaving the village and also assaults his father. Catapulted by the vicious insult and the fact that he hit his father, Jaison wants revenge on SI Saajan. Therefore, he is using his superpowers for the first time. This act escalates into a chain of events and forces him to use his power over and over again to avoid getting involved in things he didn’t do in the first place.
Shibu learns his superhuman abilities over the next few days after being struck by lightning. This not only completely changes her personality, but also gives her the courage to get closer to Usha. As he gets closer to her, he learns that she is in desperate need of a lot of money to treat her daughter who is suffering from a serious illness. So, Shibu robbed a bank using his superpowers, but the blame is blamed on Jaison who, that same night, assaulted SI Saajan and the other police officers, although in disguise.
As Shibu tries to make his way to Usha and be able to tell her whatever he wants, situations require him to take drastic action that almost always involves harming someone. one and involve Jaison for the crime in the process.
Soon a moment arrives when Shibu lands at the moment he has dreamed of all his life. Unfortunately, this is also the moment that turns out to be the last nail in the man’s coffin and it turns it into an outright evil that not only threatens the safety of the whole village, but also forces the protagonist to the story to come out. its true elements.
As should be clear from the above paragraphs, every action and every otherworldly item in Minnal Murali is powered by fundamental human emotions and conflicts. It’s something that makes the unfolding of the movie not only realistic, but also ensures that everything the protagonist and antagonist do has its roots in core human emotions and issues.
This instantly elevates the film’s narrative and allows audiences to connect with the story, the characters, the drama, the predicament, and ultimately the superheroes without any looming questions or the need to suspend disbelief.
I just loved that the director played the story in two separate tracks involving the protagonist and the antagonist and made sure their respective tracks often collided and had almost equal meat. That the final showdown between the two didn’t feel forced or rushed. It was the only logical ending the two stories could have as they were building together simultaneously.
It’s also worth noting that the hero and villain story was catapulted by real reason and drama. The fact that they had superpowers was just a coincidence. Even if they didn’t have the superpowers, the story would still go pretty well. This is one of the film’s greatest strengths. It has the power to present itself as a full and rewarding drama even if the superhero elements are cut from it.
Malayalam films are always superlative in terms of performance and Minnal Murali is no different. Tovino Thomas leads forward. The character’s confusion to attain superpowers, his frustrations with his power that are of little use to him in raising his overall social condition, and his growing awareness of who his father really was and the kind of man he wanted Jaison to be. beautifully by Thomas in a nuanced, layered and often hilarious performance. The fact that he looks like a superhero only adds to the charm of his performance.
Guru Somasundaram as Shibu is heartbreaking. I’ve never been so involved with an antagonist in recent superhero movies, and I’ve never felt so confused about what it feels like to be a villain in a movie in a long time. It shows how wonderful his performance was and how well his character was written. While Shibu had his heart in the right place and was truly a tortured soul, the path he took after achieving superpowers defined him and made him the evil he turned out to be. He could have done 100 different things, but he chose to do wrong and that’s what mattered in the end.
That said, the childish simplicity and gentle demeanor that Guru portrayed in every scene he shared with the character of Usha was heartwarming and beautiful. The most powerful of all was his last dialogue with her and will remain etched in my memory for a long time. Shibu never tried to force Usha to accept it when he easily could have. Rather, he wanted to earn her love through effort and gentle pursuit and this attitude was at the heart of the conflict he was facing.
The only downside to Minnal Murali is its terrible visual effects and the subtle Hindu denigration that has become the norm in every movie made by the so-called liberals and progressives. While the film was meant to be on a low budget, the visual rendering of most superhero shots was so pathetic that it raised questions about the tech team’s prowess at rendering visual effects.
It’s the only thing that momentarily takes you away from the experience and makes you question what you see. I’ve seen movies with smaller budgets get better visual effects. The makers could also have been smart about how they approached the superhero tracks and how they used the visual effects. Re-imagining certain scenes could have negated the problem to some extent. But then, there’s no way around the visual effects in a superhero movie.
Minnal Murali is a watch not to be missed. This is an emotionally and theme-rich rendering of a simple story with bravery performances by the entire cast. With a bigger budget and better visuals, this could have been the flagship Indian superhero movie.
Rating: 4/5 (4 stars out of 5)